Things That Matter

According To This Fox News Anchor, The El Paso Terrorist Is Right, There Is An Invasion Of Hispanics

Earlier this week Brian Kilmeade went on Fox& Friends to defend the use of the term “invasion” when talking about the situation at the U.S./Mexico border.

He was responding to a tweet by Barack Obama, which went far beyond the usual “thoughts and prayers” template we’re used to seeing.

Obama specifically called out the rhetoric used by our country’s leadership. At rallies and conferences and television panels, you’ll hear the same words being thrown around – Invasion, Infestation, Hordes.

Here’s what Brian Kilmeade said on Fox & Friends:

It’s unclear where Kilmeade is receiving his numbers from. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics, 71,999 individuals were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border last month which is actually down from previous months. Even if you took an average total per month for the year, the number still hovers around 89,000, more than half of which are women and children, many of whom are applying for asylum.

But that’s beside the point, I guess.

The real reason why people are talking about Brian’s recent statements is because he is defending the word usage of the President and the El Paso shooter.

Even after it was made known that the El Paso shooter used the same language in his manifesto that is frequently used by the President and others in his support network, it seems that no one intends to re-evaluate the impact of how they speak about immigrants.

People were calling out Fox for basically endorsing white Supremacist talking points.

How can you be ok with repeating the exact same language used by a terrorist? And not just repeating it, actually defending it!

In fact, they are ready to double down in what can be seen as an irresponsible use of language.

So if you take a word like “invasion” or “hordes” or “infestation”, because of the context we usually see these words in, we may get the sense that there is a battle to be won. “Infestation” certainly drums up a visceral feeling of uncleanliness.

People are pretty upset about the refusal to take any responsibility for how the El Paso shooter might have become radicalized by the ideas they push forward. 

Fox News, the President, and basically every politician associated with the NRA, Are blaming everything from social video games, Gary marriage, and even drag queens. Literally everything except guns and white supremacy.

Some are even calling for advertisers to pull support from the show.

How much do words matter? Quite a bit according to a 2016 study by researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of Southern California. The study details how words can impart positive or negative feelings based on the context they are usually used in. The speaker may not have the intention of influencing the listener in a certain way, but it happens anyway. 

Irene Sanchez wrote a well-research article about the long history of violence against Latinos in the United States for CNN recently. In the article, she talks about how hate crimes against Latinos has risen by 24% since Trump took office and does not believe it is a coincidence. She says, “All these words are used to describe us and our communities to dehumanize us and justify use of violence…equating us to pests, less than human, and undeserving of any rights.” 

Couple this with the fact that repetition is infectious. This language is repeated over and over again in different venues across multiple platforms. In a 2016 study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, the researchers write, “In two experiments we demonstrate that selectively repeating information in favor of a particular decision alternative changes preference ratings in favor of this alternative and makes a decision for this alternative more likely.” In other words, you can definitely influence someone to have a certain opinion just by making sure they hear what you want them to believe over and over again.

The specific words being used as the conversation about immigration continues to broil on, hold a lot of power in how the public perceives and in turn responds to the information they are being given. We can’t be surprised when words that imply violence beget violence. Does anyone think Trump, Kilmeade, Fox & Friends, and others don’t KNOW that? Please.

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A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

Things That Matter

A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

Photo via @the_asian_dawn/Instagram

In another incident that highlights the anti-Asian sentiment that is on the rise in recent months, a 70-year-old California woman was attacked in Eagle Rock, earlier this month. According to news reports, a young woman attacked her while she was exiting the bus to pick up groceries.

The elderly woman, who goes by Becky, is Mexican-American. But her attacker yelled an anti-Asian slur at her before physically assaulting her.

According to AAPI news site Asian Dawn, Becky’s attacker was a 23-year-old woman who was also riding the bus with her. The woman did nothing to provoke the attack. The young woman ended up dragging the older woman from the back of the bus to the front of the bus. Becky ended up in the hospital with a broken nose, a concussion, two severely swollen eyes, and chunks of her hair torn from her head.

According to Becky’s son, who only goes by Pete, while the family are Mexican-American, people often mistake their family for being of Asian descent. According to Pete, no one intervened to stop the young woman from attacking his mother.

“Nobody would help. Not even the bus driver,” the woman’s son told The Eastsider.

Finally, the young woman stopped her attack after a fellow passenger called 911. The police were able to apprehend the young woman after issuing a bulletin for her arrest.

According to Pete, his mother has a long road of recovery ahead of her. Already suffering from lupus and arthritis, her mother is having trouble walking. Her leg is badly bruised from the assault.

The fact that the victim was Mexican-American serves to illustrate how ignorant and hateful these racist attacks are. There is no rhyme or reason to hate.

Many are linking the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the virus originated in Wuhan, China. The violent racists that have been attacking people who appear to be of Asian descent believe that Asian-Americans are somehow personally responsible for the pandemic.

If you to support the #StopAsianHate cause, donate to organizations like gofundme.com/AAPI or the Asian American Legal defense fund here.

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Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Things That Matter

Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Police have taken another Black man’s life, this time it’s 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Protests have broken out in cities across the country as the nation reacts to the killing of yet another young Black man.

But as the nation reacts to the murder, Wright’s family – his mother and child – need all the support they can get right now and thankfully there are many ways that we can all be better allies while helping support the family that Wright leaves behind.

Daunte Wright is the third high-profile police murder in Minneapolis.

Daunte Wright was driving to his older brother’s house with his girlfriend on Sunday afternoon, when police pulled him over for expired tags. Police said they found an existing warrant for Wright’s arrest and attempted to handcuff him.

Bodycam footage revealed Officer Kim Potter shot Wright when she claimed to be reaching for her taser. He died on the scene, just 10 miles from where former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the death of George Floyd.

According to CNN, Daunte’s death is at least the third high-profile death of a Black man at the hands of police in Minnesota in the last five years. And Daunte Wright’s death comes less than a year after the police killing of George Floyd, which sparked protests around the world.

Daunte Wright leaves behind a family still struggling with such an immense loss.

Daunte’s mother, Katie Wright, spoke out about the fear he experienced before his death. Daunte called her after the police pulled him over, at the suggestion of his older brother. “I know my son was scared. He’s afraid of the police, and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice. But I don’t know why, and it should have never escalated the way it did,” Katie told Good Morning America on April 13.

According to Katie, Daunte believed he was getting pulled over for his hanging air fresheners, then she heard “scuffling” and an officer told him to hang up the phone. “I tried to call back three, four times and the girl that was with him answered the phone and she said that they shot him and he was lying in the driver’s seat unresponsive.”

If you’d like to help support Daunte’s family and demand justice, below are a few resources and action items:

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